May 24, 2012

Resource Coordination: Never Again Hear “What Do I Do Now?"

Posted by in Culture & Change Management, Demand Management, Human Capital, Portfolio Management, Project Management Office (PMO), Resource Optimization | 0 Comments

Coordination of many resources over many efforts (whether project or operational) is required to ensure that an organization functions properly.  That’s why resource coordination is one of the main functions of the PMO.

Through Project Portfolio Management (PPM) techniques, the typical enterprise or Strategic PMO works with senior management to start and stop projects, to consider project investigation and establish project prioritization.

For people who have a combination of project and work tasks a common concern is how to balance project tasks and regular work. Basically, “what do I do now?” It is a great question, but can be hard to answer.

Most people want to make a contribution and be valued. But, without clear direction, work efforts can become misguided and unproductive. Envision the impact on someone expending great efforts on a task only to find the initial requirement /request had changed and their work was for naught; extend that thought to a whole team and imagine the impact on the organization!

Someone who is working at the “action level”, for example a developer, does not necessarily have the time, perspective or bandwidth to balance their work and project tasks.  So where do they go to get direction and clarification? This is where the PMO plays a critical role.

Through PPM, the PMO becomes the single originating source of information that can answer “what do I do now?”  That's because the PMO is where the decisions are made on what should be done and by whom. The PMO communicates the active prioritized projects to senior management, resource management, stakeholders and project managers. Therefore, the PMO, via the Project Managers and Resource Managers, answers this question.

In reality, if the PMO is in place and fully performing its communication functions, the question would be answered before it could be asked. People would be more inclined to say “I know what my assignments are and what’s coming next.”

The bottom line: the strategic PMO performs the coordinating and communicating function, ensuring that the whole organization understands what is expected and when. The assumption is the corporate goal alignment, projects selection, prioritization, resource acquisition, etc. has already been completed beforehand so that every task feeds into an overall strategic vision.

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